Supervisor Monthly Message - District 2 - October 2020

Welcome to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors’ Website


This year has been an incredibly challenging year for Tulare County residents and employees.  The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives. One segment of the population that is seemingly overlooked during this time is school aged children and their needs. I am approached on a regular basis with the question, “When are our children returning to school?”

On July 17, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that if a county has been on the County Data Monitoring list (the list) within the last 14 days, a school can’t conduct in-person learning until the county has been off the monitoring list for at least 14 days. Tulare County has been on the list since early June due to the number of COVID-19 cases.

Until the county has transmission rates under control, the State feels that the risk of returning to school outweighs the benefits. The State also indicated that counties with case rates at or above 200 cases per 100,000 residents should not extend waivers.

However, in an effort to prepare for the return of in-person schooling, I recommend that each school develop a plan that meets the State and county requirements to receive a waiver.

Grades TK-6 can request a waiver from our health department to open for in-person instruction at this time. Prior to applying for a waiver, the superintendent (or equivalent for charter or private schools) must publish an elementary school reopening plan on their website before submitting the waiver application, which can be found here.

The waiver application is reviewed by the county health officer and consults with the California Department of Public Health. The following documents must be submitted:

  1. Confirmation that the reopening plan that addresses components in the CDPH guidance for schools and school-based programs have been published on the website of the local school.
  2. Completed Application Cover Form for Elementary School Reopening Waiver
  3. Verification of approval of the waiver request by the school board or agency
  4. Documented consultation with labor, parent, and community groups
  5. For multiple elementary schools, all school names must be indicated on the application

Even while waivers are not being approved, the public health branch will work with the schools to ensure they are ready when they are allowed to reopen for in-person learning.

Applications and supporting documents are due at least two weeks before the desired reopening date. Email all paperwork to

Again, I want to encourage any and all schools to seek a waiver once they feel as though they are able to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 and protect both students and staff members. We all need to advocate for our children; they are our future!

Pete Vander Poel, District 2, Chairman, Tulare County Board of Supervisors

(559) 636-5000